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The James Mad⁠i⁠son Ins⁠t⁠⁠i⁠⁠t⁠u⁠t⁠e Honors ⁠t⁠he l⁠i⁠fe of James Gwar⁠t⁠ney

By: Logan Padgett / 2024

Logan Padgett


Press Releases


Statement from The James Madison Institute’s President and CEO Dr. Robert McClure on the passing of Scholar and Economist Dr. James Gwartney: 

The country lost a patriot and the conservative movement lost a giant in the battle for liberty. An early founding scholar at The James Madison Institute and a member of JMI’s Research Advisory Council, economist Dr. James Gwartney passed away Sunday at the age of 83. 

A colleague and friend of Milton Freidman, Dr. Gwartney was a founding coauthor of the Economic Freedom of the World index, which since 1996 has been published by more than 100 institutions, including the Fraser Institute in Canada and the Cato Institute in the U.S. The index was the idea of Milton and Rose Freidman and Fraser’s Michael Walker, but Dr. Gwartney and his team led the charge to establish it and make it viable. In May 2022, he retired after 53 years of teaching at Florida State University.  He is also the coauthor of Economics: Private and Public Choice, (Cengage Publishing, 2022), a widely used principles of economics text now in its 17th edition. 

“Dr. James Gwartney’s legacy will live on for generations in the hearts and minds of those who loved him, worked with him, and were mentored by him. His footprint will be visible long after we are all gone. Dr. Gwartney was responsible for much of the scholarship in the early days of JMI. Later, he had a strong influence on me and he was an important mentor of mine. He was a gentle, kind, and brilliant soul. There aren’t many people in this world with that kind of combination. Our prayers are with his family, his lovely and devoted wife, Amy, as they celebrate his life and grieve his passing. A life well lived – rest in peace, Dr. Gwartney. We are all better because of you.” –Dr. Robert McClure, President and CEO, The James Madison Institute